The staff members for the Department of Enrolment and Student Administration (DESA), together with the Sistagirl Foundation donated ‘dignity packs’ to underprivileged girls in schools. Dignity packs included essential, basic toiletries such as sanitary towels, deodorant, soap, facecloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

The Sistagirl Foundation is a non-profit organisation that assists underprivileged girls and women with skills and abilities to accumulate self-worth in overcoming social injustices such as rape and gender-based violence. According to the Department of Basic Education, in 2014, 6 281 512 girls were enrolled in South African schools from pre-grade R to grade 12. Of these, “3 770 514 girls [were] potentially unable to buy sanitary pads while menstruating”.  #DESACares was able to donate 105 dignity packs with the 162 individual sanitary towel packs that were collected at the UP Staff Spring Day celebration, which took place on 13 September. Other departments such as the Faculty of Theology and the Fees Division of the Department of Finance participated in this initiative. In addition to these donations, the Sistagirl Foundation arranges talks with women about feminine health, boosting self-esteem as well as the importance of retaining confidence in society.

Due to the great turnout, DESA plans to continue this initiative in years to come.

Image: Sally Hartzenberg

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